If you’ve been experiencing gut issues, such as bloating, diarrhea, or acid reflux, you might want to try checking your gut for some microbiome. These are microorganisms, like bacteria, archaea, and fungi, thataffect the gastrointestinal tract. By taking a microbiome test in the privacy of your home, you can conveniently explore many agents and indicators of what could be causing your gut problems.
Parasites arewidespread microorganisms affecting gut health and causing a wide range of different symptoms. A biome testing kit will help you diagnose intestinal parasites by looking for the presence of their DNA. Some common types of parasites found in humans and health issues that they can cause are:
This parasite causes nausea, diarrhea, malabsorption, vomiting, and weight loss.
Although the role of blastocysts hominis is not fully understood, some people experiencing abdominal pain, excessive gas, anal itching, and other gastrointestinal problems have this parasite in their stool.
Dientamoeba fragilis is a common parasite found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans around the world. Many infected people can go without any symptoms, while others may experience abdominal pain, loose stools, appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and diarrhea.
Biome testing can show the presence of bacteria with the potential to become pathogenic if allowed to overgrow. It also indicates the presence of pathogenic bacteria, which is harmful at any number. Common pathogenic bacteria include salmonella, E. coli, shigella, campylobacter, and clostridium.
If you find yourself with some of the following symptoms, it may indicate bacterial overgrowth:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Feeling uncomfortably full after a meal
Pancreatic elastase is an enzyme created by the pancreas, an organ in the upper abdomen. It helps break down proteins, fat, and carbohydrates after a meal. It’s an integral part of maintaining your gut health.If your pancreas is functioning well, it will produce appropriate amounts of elastase. Conversely, this internal organ can affect your digestion, particularly the ability to process and break down food effectively if it’s damaged.
Some of the most common health conditions that are causedby low elastase are cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, metabolic diseases, such as diabetes (diabetes), and celiac or inflammatory bowel disease.
Symptoms that may indicate you’re suffering from an insufficient amount of elastase are:
- Stomach pain
- Gas and bloating
- Steatorrhea (Foul-smelling, fatty stools)
- Weight loss
Calprotectin is a protein biomarker and a medical sign of inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are IBD’s that can significantly damage the GI tract.
Testing for the presence of calprotectin in your stool may prevent you from undergoing unnecessary and rather unpleasant endoscopy procedures. Some of the most common IBD symptoms are:
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding/bloody stools
- Weight loss
Monitoring calprotectin is valuable in assessing confirmed IBD patients as it reflects the success of treatment, healing, or relapse.
Although the presence of different fungal organisms doesn’t pose an immediate threat to our well-being, a yeast overgrowth usually results in GI symptoms with the severity of infections, which may vary greatly. Because yeast overgrowth symptoms overlap with many other gut issues, biome testing can help rule out other conditions and provide better treatment.
The risk of developing GI health issues is higher for those who have:
- An immune system weakened by cancer, diabetes, and other conditions
- Damaged liver
- Used antibiotics for a long time
- Imbalanced gut bacteria
- High-stress levels
Biome tests are also a great way to test for good bacteria that you should have in your stool. Should you lack a particular bacterium, you may need to feed it into your digestive tract and repopulate the gut with what’s missing.
Here are some types of bacteria to be found in the gut and their health benefits:
These bacteria strengthen the gut lining. Doing so protects against obesity, weight gain, and metabolic disturbances such as insulin resistance.
This bacterium turns certain compounds found in soy into an antioxidant that may help prevent cancers and heart disease.
This species of bacteria can prevent antibiotic-resistant pathogens from invading the gut.
This bacterium can protect kidneys as it can break compounds in plants that can bring about calcium stones in the kidneys.
The gut is where the immune system meets the bacteria and other harmful agents which may compromise our health. Immune markers are proteins that help our body resist these agents. Testing for immune markers can help you learn if your immune system is overor under-performing. Inflammatory markers, such as IgA, can indicate you’ve developed a food sensitivity or that you have a fungus or bacteria triggering your immune system to respond. Similarly, elevated levels of eosinophils may indicate an allergy or a presence of a parasite.
Fat and Protein
Fat and protein in the stool can tell your doctor how well you’re digesting and absorbing food. When the food isn’t absorbed and broken down adequately, it causes malabsorption.
High levels of fat in stool can indicate you may be suffering from one of the following diseases:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Crohn disease
- Celiac disease
- Pancreas disease
- Whipple disease
Stool proteins, on the other hand, can be used to predict IBDs. For decades, only calprotectin protein was used to predict IBD.Today, though, there are tens of different proteins whose elevated levels may indicate possible IBD.
Prevention and Better Treatment with Biome Testing Kit
Biome testing can give you a wealth of information regarding your gut’s health and everything it is affected by, such as bacteria, parasites, fat, proteins, immune markers, and much more. Once you get the results, your doctor should help you interpret them and create a specific treatment.
If you’ve been diagnosed with bacteria overgrowth, a doctor may suggest pharmaceutical-grade antimicrobial supplements to kill bacteria. Or, if you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria in your system, a doctor may advise you to introduce more probiotics and fiber into your diet.